Sundown – Chapter 10 (Part 2)

[9th of September, 2740 AD; Drake Rask’s house, Rezar, Iiayikohn]

 

Later that night, after Ayanna went home and Rain returned to the hotel, everyone else settled back over at Drake’s house for the night. Johan opted to stay over for the night before he had to go on his next mission. While the others were inside, Sorin decided to walk outside with his friend and observe the clear sky and stars above.

“Do you remember that time when we were at the beach?” Johan asked.

“Yeah, I do,” Sorin replied. “It was twelve years ago, if I recall.”

Johan looked up to the sky. “I think I remember what I told you that day,” he said. “Something about how I wanted to make an impact in the world.”

“I believe you did say that, yes,” Sorin said.

“Sorin, I’ve never told you this, but you deserve to know since you’re my friend,” Johan said, “About three weeks after that day, my father went on a very important mission with the Ameci military. Unfortunately, things did not well for my father or most of the men on that mission.”

He walked up to a nearby tree and placed his hand on the trunk as Sorin turned to him.

“Only two men survived what was reported to be an ambush,” Johan continued. “I think you should know who I’m talking about.”

“I’m sorry,” Sorin said.

“It left my mother devastated, to say the least,” Johan said. “How could any god take a great man from this world, Sorin?”

“Johan, I understand how you feel.”

“Our wounds cut deep, buddy,” Johan said, “Which is why I wonder why we continue to believe in the lies people tell us.”

“What do you mean?”

“Can you tell me what happened five months ago?” Johan asked. “Tell me about what happened when you saw the president of Maeitakohn.”

“He took his own life,” Sorin replied.

“That’s funny,” Johan said. “From what I’ve heard, he was killed by none other than Rysol Wilk. In cold blood, no less.”

“But that isn’t true,” Sorin said.

“You know the story better than I do,” Johan said, “Which is why I believe you. This is what I’m talking about: people lie because the real truth is much more complicated.”

“So they lied to protect Rhodes?” Sorin asked.

“General Fercewend is regarded as a great man, but even he has flaws,” Johan said. “He feels pain like the rest of us and, yes, even lies to protect the truth from coming out.”

“I suppose he has his reasons,” Sorin said.

“What would have happened if things went the other way?”

“If the general told the truth?”

“It’s what I wonder to myself,” Johan said. “Needless to say, Rhodes was not well liked across the land. So why go to all the trouble?”

“Maybe it has to do with what I’ve learned,” Sorin replied.

He informed Johan about what he and the others found out at the archives. Johan listened with intent, nodding along as Sorin recapped all the details about the True Thekohnians and the battle of Bel. Namely, the complete lack of details that surrounded Walton Lokke and his involvement in the True Thekohnians.

“These lies are still pervasive in this country, it seems,” Johan said. “All because a select few want to control the information and the people have no idea what is going on.”

“What do you think?”

“I think that my mission is just getting started,” Johan replied. “There may be a point to what Gavin said after all. That isn’t to say that I’m going to stoop to their level, though.”

“You won’t fight, then,” Sorin said. “But how will you fulfill your mission?”

“In a world full of lies, somebody has to tell the truth,” Johan said. “Words are more powerful than you can imagine.”

“Maybe you’re right,” Sorin said.

“Tell me something,” Johan said, “Do you have any idea who might be targeting the King of Thekohn?”

“That’s still something we’re trying to figure out,” Sorin replied.

“But you believe that there’s someone out there trying to do him in,” Johan said. “I can tell you believe in Princess Rain and what she has to say, so it’s safe to assume that what she is saying is indeed true.”

“You don’t doubt her?”

“Of course not,” Johan replied. “Any friend of yours is someone I can trust, just because they know a great guy like you.”

Sorin chuckled. “Thanks.”

“You know that you’re my best friend, right?” Johan asked. “No matter what happens going forward, I hope you’ll never forget that.”

“Don’t worry, I won’t,” Sorin replied. “Things may have changed over the years, but I know for sure that our friendship hasn’t.”

“Knowing that makes it that much easier to sleep tonight,” Johan said. “You really are one of a kind, Sorin.”

 

*****

 

[10th of September, 2740 AD; Ayanna Ansa’s house, Rezar, Iiayikohn – Tera District]

 

Ayanna rushed to the phone as it rang and picked it up. Whoever was calling in the early morning had to be important, she thought. She just had to ask them why.

“Hello?” Ayanna asked. “This better be important.”

“Lieutenant general, this is Dierk. Um, it’s very important!”

“Tell me what’s going on,” she said. “Is there an emergency?”

“You’re correct, ma’am!” Dierk replied. “There’s been an awful tragedy! The prime minister, he…”

Dierk trailed off into the silence. Ayanna’s grip tightened on the phone as she took a deep breath and exhaled.

“Don’t hold yourself back, soldier,” she said, “Just say it.”

“Prime Minister Alan Berry has been assassinated!” Dierk exclaimed. “We found him outside in the Nano Dictrict about an hour ago!”

Ayanna took a sea by the table as she placed a hand on her forehead. “Are you certain of this? Please, this isn’t time for a joke.”

“It’s… it’s not a joke,” Dierk said. “Just come here to the scene and see for yourself, ma’am.”

“Give me thirty minutes,” Ayanna said. “I’ll see you there, Dierk.”

“Thank you, ma’am,” Dierk replied. “Goodbye for now.”

“Goodbye.”

Ayanna hung up the phone and got up so she could put on her uniform. She desperately hoped that the news of the prime minister’s assassination was not true, but Ayanna had to see it for herself. A potential devastation loomed around the corner and there was no time to waste as the future of Iiayikohn and its people were at stake.

 

[10th of September, 2740 AD; Iiayine River, Rezar, Iiayikohn – Nano District]

 

Ayanna arrived at the scene moments before the break of dawn as she saw several officers and soldiers crowding around at the edge of the river. Above all else, she had to confirm what Dierk told her. He was leaning on the truck parked by the curb, his face buried into his arm. With the worst assumed, Ayanna made her way through the crowd of officers and saw the unbelievable sight for herself.

“No… Why did this happen?” Ayanna asked.

With his body facing face down, Alan Berry was lifeless. His clothes were soaked all over as Ayanna scanned for anything that appeared abnormal. For her, however, Alan’s death was abnormal. It was something that should not have happened, because the Alan that Ayanna knew would not have gone out this way. Not without a fight.

Ayanna turned to Dierk. “Do you have any idea who did this?”

“We’re still gathering information, ma’am,” Dierk answered. “It’s just hard to do considering.”

“Does the general know yet?”

“Not yet,” Dierk said.

“Then I want you to call him,” Ayanna said. “Have him inform the vice prime minister of the news. We’ll need to act fast.”

“Got it,” Dierk replied. “I still can’t believe this happened.”

“Go ahead and go on,” Ayanna said, “The prime minister wouldn’t have wanted you to hang your head in a time of crisis.”

Dierk’s eyes sprung up. “Thank you! I’ll be sure not to let him down!”

He dashed off in search for the phone as Ayanna looked back at Alan’s corpse. The sight was still beyond belief, especially after what Alan had told Ayanna the last time she saw him.

“How could anyone do this to you?”

She set her view on a single bullet hole on the back of Alan’s shoulder. It could not have been as simple as that, Ayanna thought. Alan was a fighter; there was no chance that he would have gone down to a single bullet. There was still so much that Ayanna had wanted to say to him, but now those words no longer mattered. All that mattered now was finding the person responsible and bringing them to justice.

“I promise you, sir,” Ayanna said as she rubbed her eye, “Whoever did this, I will see to it that they receive their retribution.”

She stood up and looked around at the other officers, who stood in silence as they all were trying not to break down.

“Listen up,” she said. “There are some things I need for every one of you to do. Iiayikohn’s future depends on you.”

 

*****

 

[10th of September, 2740 AD; On the deck of the Ameci Atlas – Amthe Ocean]

 

“Are you okay, miss?”

The sailor called out to Eva Bellamy, who looked out to the moonlit ocean. Her hands gripped the railings as the wind had a gentle feel upon her face.

“I’m fine,” she replied.

As the sailor walked away, Eva turned over to the empty deck of the ship. She remembered what she had said to Kirk the day before she left about how she felt bored at home and wanted to go back over to Iiayikohn once more. He had no problem with her leaving on her own, but had concern over if this trip was really what she wanted. Eva had no idea but needed to see for herself.

“I’m not sure what’s going to happen,” she said to him, “But I need to do this, Kirk.”

“I understand,” Kirk said. “Take as much time as you need.”

That was the encouragement needed for Eva to set off on her journey. One bag was all that she needed, but Eva had no idea how long she would stay abroad. She had brought along her sword, too, but saw no use for it. Still, it did provide her some sense of security for her travels. At least, that was what she told herself.

“No fighting,” she said. “It’s just going to be a normal visit. Just a normal visit, that’s all.”

Eva thought to herself what she could do once she was in Iiayikohn. She could pay a visit to Sorin, or perhaps even see Mina and how she was doing. Still, though, Eva wondered if either of them would even want to see her now.

“Don’t start doubting yourself… Don’t start doubting yourself…”

She walked over to the other side of the deck where a vacant table sat and took a seat. There had to be something Eva could do to distract herself from her thoughts until the ship made landfall in the morning, but alas there was nothing that to direct Eva’s attention away.

“At least, maybe I’ll be able to speak with Alan and the others again,” Eva said. “It’s been too long since I last saw him…”

She reclined in the chair and began to rest her eye. The sound of the ocean was finally beginning to calm Eva’s nerves as she thought about meeting with everyone once more. Getting to see the looks on their faces made it certain for Eva that everything was to going to be okay. Morning could not come soon enough.

 

To be continued…

 

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